Training the Personal and Home Care Aide Workforce – Challenges and Solutions

Source: Clare Luz, Katherine Hanson, Home Health Care Management & Practice, Published online before print January 1, 2015
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From the abstract:
Personal care aides (PCAs) are critical to meeting the need for low-cost, high-quality care for frail older adults at home. Developing this workforce entails not only increasing its size but also ensuring that PCAs possess the skills necessary to deliver competent, safe, and respectful care. Yet, no federal PCA competencies or training requirements exist, and state requirements vary widely. In 2010, a 77-hour PCA model training program was developed as part of a national demonstration. However, a key finding of this study was that many enrollees faced serious socio-economic challenges that prevented them from graduating. This report details findings from a survey sent to all non-completers to ascertain reasons for attrition and improve program success. It offers recommendations for future program planners.